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Season 2010 Episode 12.02.10

Kwame Anthony Appiah: How Moral Revolutions Happen

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Kwame Anthony Appiah: How Moral Revolutions Happen
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Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah discusses honor and its place in social and political movements throughout modern history through his new book is emThe Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happenem. Long neglected as an engine of reform, honor emerges at the center of our modern world in Kwame Anthony Appiah's emThe Honor Codeem. Over the last few centuries, new democratic movements have led to the emancipation of women, slaves, and the oppressed. But what drove these modern changes, Appiah argues, was not imposing legislation from above, but harnessing the ancient power of honor from within. In gripping detail, he explores the end of the duel in aristocratic England, the tumultuous struggles over footbinding in nineteenth-century China, and the uprising of ordinary people against Atlantic slavery. Finally, he confronts the horrors of "honor killing" in contemporary Pakistan, where rape victims are murdered by their relatives. He argues that honor, used to justify the practice, can also be the most effective weapon against it.moreless
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